Click here to view Jodie's PowerPoint presentation
Small Aspen Stand Dynamics in the Elkhorn Mountains
Jodie Canfield, Elkhorn Coordinator and Wildlife Biologist, Helena National Forest, Townsend, Montana
In an effort to better understand the dynamics of small aspen stands in dry habitats, the Slim Sam aspen project, located in the southeast portion of the Elkhorn Mountains, was initiated in 1999. Eighteen aspen stands were inventoried. Before treatment, on average, there were about 4 live sprouts per 100 square feet and aspen stands were generally in a state of decline. The factors contributing to the decline in the Slim Sam project area included shading from conifers, old age, and browsing and mechanical damage from livestock, moose, and elk.
Eight stands were burned in the spring of 2002. Six of the burned stands were fenced, with 7-foot high wildlife fencing during the summer of 2002. In 8 of the 18 stands, conifers were removed and placed around the outside of the stand to provide some protection from browsing animals. Two of the stands were not treated. Following the initial treatments, ground cover and sprout densities were assessed for 2 field seasons. This presentation summarizes the dynamics of different treatments in isolated aspen stands and compares costs and effectiveness of treatment types.
Click here to read Jodie's paper, Small Aspen Stand Dynamics in the Elkhorn Mountains, Montana